Where to Stay/What to Do
Where to Stay
Syon House, and its 200 acre park, is the London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. It takes its name from Syon Abbey, founded on the site in 1415. The house itself was built before 1552, and redesigned by the architect Robert Adam and landscape designer Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s.
Syon Park is conveniently located on the outskirts of London and seven miles from Heathrow airport. In the immediate vicinity of the wedding venue are Kew Botanical Gardens, Twickenham Stadium and picturesque Richmond.
There are several accommodation options available for those staying overnight for the wedding. Remember to book early - the London marathon takes place on our wedding weekend, so accommodation will be in demand. Three of the best options are below:
The Hilton London Syon Park
The Hilton is the closest hotel to the wedding venue. Set in the grounds of Syon Park itself, this luxury hotel is a five minute walk from Syon House and the Grand Conservatory, where the wedding will be held.
Featuring a spa, Marco Pierre White restaurant, indoor swimming pool, 24-hour gym, free bike hire and activities like croquet and archery, this will be a relaxing and convenient base for your visit.
We have secured 40 rooms at a rate of 169GBP per night, inclusive of all taxes and breakfast, for the nights of 22nd, 23rd and 24th April. To secure a room at this rate, contact Casean Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to first check rates online - you may find a cheaper deal at Booking.com.
The Hotel Novotel London Brentford
The Novotel is located in Brentford, with good transport links into central London via train or tube. It's 20 minutes away from Heathrow Airport, and is a 15 minute drive from Syon House.
The hotel itself features a heated pool, sauna and fitness centre - and there's an 18-hole golf course close by. Rooms are currently available at 83GBP per night from the Novotel website.
Travelodge London Kew Bridge
The Travelodge is located on North Road, on the High Street in Brentford, and is a 15m drive from Syon House. Rooms are currently available for 42GBP per night at the Travelodge Website.
What To Do
Near Syon Park
Syon House! - Syon House is the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, was built in the 1500s, and the interiors are widely thought to be one of the best example of architect Robert Adam's work - the well known 'Adam style' is said to have begun with Syon House. The gardens were designed by Capability Brown and the Grand Conservatory by Charles Fowler in the 1920s.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Kew Gardens is one of London’s top visitor attractions and Wakehurst, our second garden in West Sussex, is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.
Richmond - Probably London's most attractive borough (according to VisitRichmond.com), it has long been a favourite retreat for Royalty and the rich and famous. It's very pretty, and the Thames runs right through it.
Richmond Park - Richmond Park, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, was created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park. The largest of London's Royal Parks, it is of national and international importance for wildlife conservation.
In West London
- The Natural History Museum - a museum of natural history that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It has dinosaurs.
- Kensington Palace - Will & Kate's pad. A royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century, and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. It's where Queen Victoria was born.
- Hampton Court Palace - 'Big' Henry VIII lived here. There's a maze, and the biggest grape vine in the world. And LOTS of history.
Portobello Road Market - The world's largest antiques market is on Saturday, but there are stalls Monday - Friday too
Happening in April
- CircusFest - exactly what it sounds like. Looks awesome. On until the 24th April.
- Rolling Stones Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery - "Making history, the Rolling Stones have unlocked their vast private archive to create their first ever major exhibition. Over 550 rare and original Rolling Stones objects star in a fully immersive, multi-media experience taking over the Saatchi Gallery on London’s King’s Road, 5th April – 4th September 2016"
- Feast of St George - our wedding is on St George's Day, and he is the patron saint of England. If you want to be ambitious/take risks, or if you are staying near Trafalgar Square, go and check out the famous English pastime of Morris Dancing, amongst other things. But if you're late for our wedding we're going to be VERY annoyed.
All Year Round
- Food: There are LOTS of great restaurants. Sabrina and I really liked Dean Street Townhouse for Afternoon Tea (and St Pancras was pretty good too). If you want high end/a bit Wiley Dufresne), then try Dinner by Heston, and here is a relatively random list of other good places: Hawksmoor does good steak (and Sunday Lunch), Frontline Club is a rare thing - a good restaurant near Paddington (and also a club for foreign correspondents), and our resident London Restaurant Critic CE Duff suggests "10 Greek Street, any of the Brindisas, any of the Polpos" - and if you want just safe and simply and nice, try Pizza Express. Oh - and if you have time get to Borough Market (only on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 5pm, Fridays from 10am to 6pm) which is our big food market and where you may even get to see Mary Louisa Elizabeth Johnson. It's lovely. Great chicken burgers.
- Shopping: Oxford Street/Regent Street is the famous bit; Kensington High Street is quieter and a bit nicer, and there are massive Westfield malls in East and West London. Try out Liberty for a high-end store in a Tudor building, and there's obviously Harrods.
- Museums/Galleries: The British Museum is the big one with all the empire stuff in it, The National Gallery is where all the 'big guns' art is (van Gogh, Monet, Vermeer, Cezanne, Rembrandt, van Eyck, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo (and Shredder), Boticelli etc). The National Portrait Gallery is around the corner, and where there is a picture of one of Sabrina's ancestors. The Tate Modern is the modern art one and is on the South Bank.
- Areas: Shoreditch is very cool and edgy and like the East Village in NY/Mission District in SF. Mayfair is like the Upper East Side in NYC. Chelsea is like Tribeca. Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus/Covent Garden are the touristy bit. The Southbank is a nice walk. Soho in London is like a more gentrified version of the East Village in NYC and has lots of good restaurants (and is v central).
- You might also want to consider a walking tour - of which you can try Graffiti in East London, Jack the Ripper, also in East London, and then there are various historical ones (a good area to try is around the Middle Temple/The Strand.
- And then the big famous things like Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Tower Bridge, Madam Tussauds, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, the Globe Theatre, Churchill's War Rooms, London Zoo, the Shard,